A Guide To Minions: The Rise Of Gru

April 15th, 2022A Guide To Minions: The Rise Of Gru

Remind Me MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU opens July 1

It is nothing new to see an animated movie earn such massive critical acclaim and commercial success that it ends up spawning multiple direct sequels, a spin-off movie or two, countless short films, and a theme park attraction. DESPICABLE ME, the flagship title of the animation studios at Illumination Entertainment, went on to achieve all of that and within a relatively short time frame after it was first released in 2010, too. However, MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU is breaking new ground in the franchise and in the world of animation, as a sequel to a spin-off that also acts as a prequel to the original predecessor of the main series.

If you find the Minions’ indecipherable language (save the word “banana”) easier to understand than that statement above, no need to worry. We will explain that and everything else you need to know about Illumination Entertainment’s latest animated comedy, starting with when you can finally take the family to see this highly anticipated and long, long awaited film.

Minions: The Rise Of Gru Hits Theatres July 2022

The story of the long road that MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU has taken before finally being released in theaters — on Friday, July 1, 2022 — is one that makes up nearly half of the entire franchise’s 12-year history. This sequel to the 2015 hit MINIONS — a spin-off taking place decades before the events of 2010’s DESPICABLE ME — was initially greenlit by Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment in 2017.

In 2019, the prequel/sequel was given an official title — MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU — and an official, projected release date of Friday, July 3, 2020. However, less than a year later, the Covid-19 pandemic broke out and forced the cast and crew to work remotely, instead of taking a full pause in production like many other live-action films did at the time. Eventually, a new release date of Saturday, July 2, 2022 was announced before Universal Studios moved it to a day earlier.

It Is An Origin Story

MINIONS revealed the untold story of how the titular yellow creatures came to be, why they tend to pledge their loyalty to the most “despicable” people imaginable — such as Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm as Scarlet and Herb Overkill — and how they met their current master, Gru. MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU will reveal the untold story of how the titular criminal mastermind came to be such a “despicable” person himself — until he became the adoptive father of three young girls, leading to his reform, of course.

The sequel will reportedly pick up right where its 2015 predecessor left off and take place in the 1970s. During this groovy time, a 12-year-old Gru tries to chase after his dream of becoming the next great supervillain and earn a spot in the prestigious crime syndicate he idolizes, known as the Vicious 6. Helping him along the way are the Minions and their trusty mechanical skills, and a few other familiar faces, as well.

The Minions: The Rise Of Gru Cast

As one could likely guess, Oscar® nominee Steve Carell returns in MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU to voice the younger version of the title character. Also reprising their roles from the franchise are Julie Andrews as Gru’s Mother, Marlena, Russell Brand as Gru’s future assistant, Dr. Nefario, and Pierre Coffin as the Minions.

Additional MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU cast members who are new to the DESPICABLE ME series consist mostly of the villains in the Vicious 6. Fellow Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson plays leader Belle Bottom, Michelle Yeoh voices Master Chow, Lucy Lawless is Nunchuk, Dolph Lundgren stars as Svengeance, Danny Trejo plays Stronghold and Jean-Claude Van Damme, very fittingly, stars as Jean Clawed. Carell’s Oscar-winning LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE co-star, Alan Arkin, also stars as fromer Vicious 6 leader Wild Knuckles, and RZA, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, has been cast in a role that is currently undisclosed.

Minions: The Rise Of Gru Has Three Directors

Outside of, perhaps Pierre Coffin, few people know the Minions better than Kyle Balda, who, before serving as co-director of Illumination’s THE LORAX in 2012, headed a number of shorts starring the popular yellow characters. He and Coffin, together, would go on to helm the Minions’ self-titled spin-off and 2017’s DESPICABLE ME 3, along with co-director Eric Guillon on the latter.

Balda has returned as the lead director of MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU with co-directors Brad Ableson of “The Simpsons” fame and Jonathan del Val, who was also co-director for THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2. Writing the movie is fellow Illumination vet Brian Lynch, who previously penned the scripts for MINIONS, the SHREK spin-off PUSS IN BOOTS and the Universal Studios ride, DESPICABLE ME: MINION MAYHEM 3D.

Expect A ‘70s Style Soundtrack

Just like all of the previous installments of the DESPICABLE ME franchise, the score for MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU will be composed by Pharrell Williams — who wrote DESPICABLE ME 2’s Oscar-nominated theme song “Happy” — and Heitor Pereira. However, the film will also feature a “killer” selection of classics to reflect its 1970s setting.

Curating this retro soundtrack is Jack Antonoff, who is best known as part of the chart-topping, Grammy-winning pop trio, fun. He also has won a few Grammy Awards on his own as a producer of such albums as Taylor Swift’s “1989” and “Folklore” and was named Producer of the Year at the Grammys in 2022. Antonoff has previous experience working on films like LOVE, SIMON as its executive music producer and also, recently, made a cameo as himself in Hulu’s series adaptation of HIGH FIDELITY in 2020.

With classic pop radio staples from the 1970s becoming all the rage in Hollywood lately, since James Gunn introduced Star-Lord’s “Awesome Mixes” in Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movies, the soundtrack for MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU is sure to be a major talking point among moviegoers of all ages.

Speaking of music, we are also looking forward to discovering what character RZA is lending his voice to, among the other mysteries surrounding this soon-to-be, family-friendly hit. All will be revealed when Illumination’s sequel comes to theatres on Friday, July 1, 2022.

Remind Me MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU opens July 1

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